Why golfers worry too much about technique, according to Claude Harmon III

golfer swings

Knowing the difference between technique and execution will help you improve.

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Golf is a game with an innumerable number of variables — all of which could go wrong at a moment’s notice. Often, the challenge isn’t isn’t fixing what’s going wrong, it’s knowing what to fix in the first place.

And that’s where so many golfers struggle, host Claude Harmon III explained on his most recent episode of his GOLF.com podcast “Off Course” (which you can subscribe to on iTunes right here). Joined by his longtime colleague Justin Parsons, Harmon explained the trap that so many golfers fall into, which often leads to them dismissing golf instruction altogether.

“My dad and Tiger were a big part of the reason why people think: ‘I need to change my golf swing.’ You get people now who want to make these giant, massive shifts to the way they hit the golf ball,” Harmon said.

“I always say to golfers there are two things you need to worry about: Is it a technique issue? Or is it an execution issue?” he continued. “So many golfers are predisposed to thinking everything they’re doing is technique issue.”

The difference between a technique issue and an execution issue

The distinction Harmon makes is an interesting one, and something worth underlining for those of us at home. A technical issue is something in your swing that is causing you to be inconsistent, or hampering your potential to hit good shots. A grip that’s too weak and causes you to slice the golf ball, for instance.

Technical issues do exist, but higher and mid-handicaps often make the mistake of thinking they’re the only things that exist, when they’re not. When it comes to mid- and low-handicaps, it’s their inability to manage their misses and play smart that holds them back more than their technique.

Golf is a game of misses — the old cliche goes — no matter what level you’re playing at. Remember that, learn to play them, and you’ll be better off.

Listen to the full episode of “Off Course” on Spotify below:


Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.